Endodontics is a very important field of dentistry which makes it possible to preserve one’s own teeth for as long as possible and restore the tooth’s anatomy and function.
Endodontics – or root canal treatment – is needed when an untreated caries process reaches the pulp inside your tooth and it becomes infected. The inflammation can be symptomatic or asymptomatic. In the first case the patient is suffering from sharp also night-time toothache.
If the inflammation is asymptomatic the patient usually have no any serious complaints and doesn’t even suspect that there might be an inflammation. The complaints arise when the asymptomatic pulp inflammation has progressed to a periodontal disease – inflammation of the tissues surrounding the root tip – periodontal ligament, bone. In this case the patient feels as if the tooth is lifted and bigger, it hurts to bite down, in more serious cases the pain is throbbing and soft tissues might swell.
In both cases endodontic treatment or root canal is required. It involves the removal of the infected pulp, cleaning, shaping and filling of the canals. Different teeth can have from one to four sometimes five root canals. To ensure a high quality result all canals must be cleaned, infected tissues must be removed, they have to be disinfected and sealed so prevent a new infection.
The work might get complicated by narrow calcified curved canals or by canals of atypical anatomy. That’s why often an endodontic case requires work with a microscope that magnifies the view and makes it easier for the endodontist to treat the canals.
A big part of endodontist’s work consists of re-treatment of root canals – when they already have been treated before but an abscess has formed at the end of a tooth’s root. This happens if the canals were not cleaned or filled properly, a soft filling material was used that can get washed out or if the canals did not have a filling at all.
As it is hard to control the work in the canals visually (they are deep in the tooth) X-ray pictures are necessary to examine the work. During the time of the treatment which can last a few visits three to four or sometimes more X-rays are taken.
After endodontic treatment it is very important to ensure the tightness of the canal filling, that’s why often cast metal posts and cores are indicated which protect the tooth from splitting, since when the pulp dies the tooth tissue becomes more fragile.
If the tooth defect is small and there is enough of healthy tissue the cavity can be restored using fillings. Proper and early root canal treatment allows to preserve a functioning tooth for many years.
However in all cases especially in the case of re-treatment the doctor has to evaluate the situation and prognosis and explain to the patient that the more times the canals are re-treated the smaller the success rate is. The condition of neighbouring teeth and tissues also needs to be evaluated. If there are periodontal or gum problems bone loss other types of treatment such as dental implants should be considered.
No matter what kind of case a patient has we suggest coming to our dental clinic “Odonteja” for a consultation with our specialists who will find the best solution for you.